By Ashley Priore '18
Written in 2016
Oh Ellis School,
I write this Ode to thee,
I love your dedication to girls and education.
Founded by Sara Frazer Ellis,
Preparing young women for Eastern Women’s Colleges.
In 1916, Miss Ellis’ School was born
forty-one students and three teachers
with no intent to teach her lady-like manners
From the start Ellis’ mission was vigor.
From Classes of 1918 and 1919
our Alumnae Association is formed.
How I love the eight graduates in green and white,
Discere quo modo serviamus.
1922 seniors gazed at the first taste of privileges,
their third floor looked beyond the rest.
From first dances to the 1927 gymnasium,
Ellis is changing. Ellsworth Avenue blooms
with the fresh smell of construction.
In 1929 Miss Shearer’s school, a nonprofit organization
sold to the Board of Trustees,
we take our name proudly: The Ellis School.
Dora Buchinder Rinehart pens our school song in 1933.
How I love her colors green and white,
Nothing e’re can shake us from our pledge of loyalty.
Miss Simonson’s school joins our family,
25 years has passed quickly by.
Enrollment rising, Cooperative Council discusses A’s and B’s.
How I love Glee Club, in 1936, L-Ti-Do Club sings.
1938, Guild Club established to aid the lives of others
and encourage young female leadership.
Ellis girls hear the wonders of life
beyond school walls at assemblies two Fridays a month.
We bid farewell to our good friend Sara,
From Harriet S. Sheldon, our second Head is named.
War fights on outside, but students have their own battle to win.
Oh Ellis School, Fair Ellis, How I love graduation:
In 1941 white dresses, bouquets, and commencement hats
placed on each graduate. Walking in a straight line
with Our Head of School leading the path to life beyond
Here. In 1943, the year of trouble,
A handmade scrapbook: Our yearbook.
From Headmistress Majorie L. Tilley, 1944 never seemed
so full, another Ellis building rises on Negley.
1950, the Ellis Code comes into full being.
and watches over our conscience.
We welcome Headmistress Hamilton,
Her vision was clear: More enrollment deserves more property!
Our home: 6425 Fifth Avenue is born.
Charles and Thomas Arbuthnot’s estate holds 383 girls.
1957 and 1958, AFS, years of international guests.
From 1959, along with Middle School construction,
Alumnae Hall is named. How we love the presence of history.
1960, Cum Laude Celebrations. Recognition of hard work.
sports team flourish, Headmistress Moore is named.
Ode to the woman who recognized senior’s independence.
Senior Projects she encourages. Excitement comes to end,
Sara Frazer passes. 1962, sorrow hits Ellis School.
Where would we be without her?
Culture Day begins the 1962, its goal to fill young minds
with cultural life outside these walls.
We honor Benjamin R. Fisher, Oedipus and Antigone,
and the Bartholomew’s.
1966, our Alma Mater is here to stay!
50 years has passed in the blink of an eye.
Our campus grows bigger
with Headmistress Jacobs in 1971,
creating Mini Courses in May.
(Every Ellis girl’s favorite time of the year!)
Development and fundraisers change the course
of our lives and our school.
With a Fine Arts building proudly opened in 1974.
End of the ‘70’s marks the Babcock Library’s birth.
Gyms, art rooms, and equipment fill the space.
Babcock library is still an Ellis girl’s favorite place
for reading and learning. Sara Frazer Ellis Award:
Elsie Hillman is named. Honoring alumnae
who took Ellis values into the world.
April 1985, Ellis Reunion Day.
Headmistress Fleming known for her commitment
to the Lower School. Windows and tradition
go hand in hand. The Alice S. Beckwith building is named.
1988 new approaches to Lower School education.
Early ‘90s and the rise of technology,
Family Child Care Center construction,
Coalition of Girls, an online library,
And Headmistress Upham.
Ode to Dr. Bedell, Egyptian papers, digs, and potlaches.
1994 (remember the year) plaid kilts met their match.
The Ellis Uniform is complete.
Athletic Hall of Fame and Hillman Upper School
both in the same year. 1999 things are changing.
Head of School Callomon leads during 2001,
Janet’s Gym completion and Senior Prank Day:
Now Accepting Boys wasn’t too funny to some.
Head Grant leads during World Language changes,
The first Fine Arts Festival,
The Mary Edwards Foster Art Prize,
Stain Glass Windows that embody our history,
and the first Diversity Committee.
2006 marks 90 years, how fast time does go!
Pre-K welcomed to the Ellis School,
English Honor Society joins in too,
Benedict is named our Head of School.
Online School for Girls, Strategic Plans,
Head of School Newham in 2013.
With London Exchanges and a new Athletic Field,
Ellis is changing.
Oh Ellis, Fair Ellis, I write this ode to thee,
Thank you for a 100 years.
Ode to the Sturdevants, Altmans, Moldovan, Greco, Jones, Kozusko, Coaches
And every teacher since 1916
you educate the minds of girls
teach them to think independently.
Ode to advisors, friends, staff, deans, and heads
Without them, where would we be?
Sara Frazer would be proud
Of all we did achieve.
Ode to the alumnae and students!
Accomplishments, classes, homework, and plaid skirts
Are our lives. Ode to Lip-Dubs, Enrollment, Ellisian Times,
Big Sisters, Snack, and Lounges. Clubs, Student Council,
Presidents, Yearbook, and Chess.
Ode to Leadership.
So much to say about one school
Whose history goes back a century.
Ode to you, Ellis, for all you do
for girls like me.
Esse Quam Videri.
Special thank you to Mr. Altman, Mrs. Altman, and The Ellis School for providing me with the information included in this Ode. Their guidance and advice is very much appreciated.